The honest truth is: we all want to look and feel the best we possibly can. Exercise can sometimes feel like an unimaginable part of a busy, stressed workday, but it’s monumentally important every individual incorporates it into their weekly routine. So I’m going to let you in a little secret, the fastest way to get your heart rate up and your body burning calories. Are you ready for it? Running. The word itself has an unnecessary amount of negative connotations associated with it, but the reality is, anyone can be a runner.
Running doesn’t always have to mean running 6 miles around Zorinsky every weekend or taking down some sprints at your local track. There is a type of running (maybe walking) style for everyone out there. And the benefits are endless. First of all, running is scientifically proven to boost mood. The rush of dopamine that is released when you’re out jogging positively impacts your emotional and social reactions throughout the day. Additionally, the cardio associated with running is one of the most efficient ways to lose or maintain weight. If that weren’t enough to get you hooked, running has been scientifically proven to add years onto your life. A study from The New York Times states that runners live on average three years more than nonrunners.
If you’re new to running, here’s a basic checklist to get you started. First, get a good pair of running shoes. This is detrimental to avoiding injury and having successful workouts and runs. Some of my favorite brands are Brooks, Saucony, and Asics. To get fitted for shoes based on your specific gait and foot identity, visit Peak Performance or Fleet Feet here in Omaha. Once you’re laced up and ready to go, start out slow. Especially if you aren’t used to running, start out with a light jog or even a walk at first, and then gradually build up to running. Set goals and a schedule for yourself. Aim to run/jog three days a week to start off, and then slowly increase that number when you see improvement. Even a 10 or 20-minute jog can do wonders for your body and mind.
Sometimes you just aren’t in the mood to go out and run, and that’s okay. If the weather is not looking forgiving, consider running on a treadmill or an indoor track at a fitness center. If you feel unenergized, put on some tunes and get ready to feel the satisfying burn of lactic acid in your muscles. Good luck! Lace-up and happy trails!